Judge, civil rights activist on the path to doctorate
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
Dexter Wimbish once was the youngest general counsel for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. founded in 1957. Now he’s a municipal court judge in Griffin, Ga., and wants to help young people follow in his footsteps — with the help of a doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University.
Wimbish was on campus recently for a doctoral residency, part of his work towards his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education Leadership degree. He is an adjunct professor at Mercer University and hopes to retire from the legal field in five years, then join the full-time faculty at a university — and maybe even be president of an educational institution someday soon.
“I love working with young people and imparting some of the wisdom I’ve gained over the years,” he said.
Wimbish, who has worked alongside prominent civil rights advocates, such as James Orange, C. T. Vivian and John Lewis, said he first got involved in the civil-rights movement at age 26 and integrated it into his work in the legal field. He has also been active on other issues, such as environmental justice and criminal justice reform.
After more than two decades of making an impact in the legal world, Wimbish is ready to cross another goal off his bucket list.
“I’ve always loved being a student and, in retrospect, I should have just stayed in school 25 years ago, just got the doctorate out of the way. But I knew I would come back to it eventually,” He said.
With the completion of his third residency, he has reached the proposal stage of his doctoral program. Wimbish said he was drawn to GCU by the University’s Christian background and by the doctoral program’s online structure.
“It just seemed to be a good fit for me,” He said. “It’s a marathon, without a doubt, especially trying to work this into your everyday life and you’re still working and you’ve got family responsibilities. But it’s been really exciting for me.”
He hopes to finish his degree within the next 18 months.
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected]